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Surviving the agent query process...

The Rich Writer: Surviving the agent query process...

The Rich Writer

How to Thrive on the Writer's Road

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Surviving the agent query process...

I have a midgrade fantasy manuscript that I'm (theoretically) sending out to agents and editors. I say theoretically, because I suffer from a common writer's problem: fear of rejection. Not as badly as, say, when I first began to write and submit, but the submission process is often tough.

For a variety of reasons, this manuscript is particularly tough to submit. After I queried a few agents the end of last year, I stopped. I had excuses--maybe the book wasn't ready, or maybe the concept wasn't marketable for a first-time author. The truth? Sending it out was (is) incredibly emotionally draining.

For the New Year, I resolved to get back on the horse. I'm researching agents and sending out queries to a few who seem like good fits, even though it's scary :). Here's how:

  1. I told my critique group to keep me accountable. (They will!)
  2. I send out a query or two in the morning. Then I meditate. THEN I write.
  3. I tell myself that probably, nothing will come of the submissions. I bargain with myself, promise myself that I won’t have to worry about it for a while….
  4. Blatant bribery. I mean, incentives. ("If you send out that query, Cheryl, you can buy a raspberry-lemon gelato at Glacier....")
  5. And I keep working on several other deliciously distracting projects.

How’s it going? Well, I’ve sent out those first few queries. And I’ve gotten a few nibbles, from a few agents I’d be very excited to work with. Of course, my coping strategy #3 is failing me: obviously, I will hear from some of them! But I guess that was the point of submitting in the first place.

Just one question: does anyone else burst into tears when they get a request-for-partial email?! Goofy emotions.

Ooh, wonder if I can use that in a story?

:P Cheryl

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